Dear Chief Secretary to the Treasury,
I'm afraid to tell you there's no money left.
Signed, Liam Byrne

(Outgoing Labour Chief Secretary to the Treasury. May 2010)

Wednesday, 14 April 2010

Alternative English patron saint?

We will also reveal the findings of our latest research on St George’s Day and the search for a possible alternative English patron saint.
h/t Toque

What the blazes do they think they're doing?

Imagine the uproar if anybody even vaguely hinted at replacing St Andrew, St David or St Patrick. England, though, is fair game, as is England's Patron Saint.

St George was a fairly decent sort of fellow. They say he was executed for protecting poor and defenceless people, including Christians. Rumour has it that he killed dragons too - so maybe one of the rights groups doesn't like that idea, so they'd like him demoted. Thing is, you see, dragons are imaginary.

According to this site, he's got a fairly massive international following
George is the patron saint of Aragon, Catalonia, Georgia, Lithuania, Palestine, Portugal, Germany and Greece; and of Moscow, Istanbul, Genoa and Venice (second to St Mark). He is patron of soldiers, cavalry and chivalry; of farmers and field workers, Boy Scouts and butchers; of horses, riders and saddlers; and of sufferers from leprosy, plague and syphilis. He is particularly the patron saint of archers, which gives special point to these famous lines from Shakespeare's Henry V, Act 3, Scene 1, l. 31:

'I see you stand like greyhounds in the slips,
Straining upon the start. The game's afoot:
Follow your spirit; and, upon this charge
Cry God for Harry, England and St George!'.

Indirectly, the spirit of George the soldier saint played a part in modern English history when Sir Laurence Olivier's film of Henry V was issued in 1944 as an encouragement to our armies fighting for the liberation of France.
English patriotism you see, some people don't like it, not in any shape or form.

And, by the way, St George's Day is 23rd April, same day as Shakespeare's birthday.


Cold Steel Rain said...

I thought this was going to be a bit of a spoof post Mrs R. A pre-election silly.

But of course its not. Stop the ride I want to get off.

Uncle Marvo said...

Stop the ride.

I want to throw a few million people off.

I think this is what CSR means, too.

Mark Wadsworth said...

I'm perfectly happy with St G as he has the best flag. But to be fair, he's a Roman Catholic saint who came from Turkey or somewhere and who never slaid a dragon. Whereas England is a real country which is not majority Roman Catholic.

Mrs Rigby said...

@ CSR & UM - I'm beginning to feel the same way, and I know who I'd like to throw off!

@ MW - Well, England was still 'Roman' when he was chosen as the Patron Saint, but he's also a saint of Anglican and orthodox Churches.

I just wish 'they' would stop meddling with things English, and leave us alone.